Friday, January 05, 2007

Sandy's Music Videos

I was performing organ and piano for a wedding at Third Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, so I decided to make a quick video while I was practicing.

It's not perfect, but it's not too bad. My little camera ran out of memory when there were only a few notes left to play. :( Oh well. That's the breaks.

I'm performing "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" by Johann Sebastian Bach at 3rd Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Here I am performing "Ah Holy Jesus" during the noontime Lent services at Memorial United Methodist Church in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Here are more videos of me performing on my keyboard at home:
(Pardon the sound quality - I'm using a little handheld digital camera.)
Maurice Ravel's "Pavane pour une Infante Defunte"

"Reverie" by Claude Debussy

"Linus and Lucy" by Vince Guaraldi

This video was recorded on the Kawaii grand piano at Memorial United Methodist Church in Charlotte, NC.
"O Come, O Come, Emmanuel" by Mark Hayes

And here is a finger exercise I teach to all my students.
Me as Church Organist
I've been a musician since I was 11 years old, beginning piano lessons with Miss Catherine Ritch in Stallings, North Carolina. Since that time, I've studied voice and organ, and performed as a church musician for almost 30 years.

Here's a few of my music honors:

Sun Valley High School Chorus
- accompanist, alto, and Vice President
Sun Valley High School Band - percussionist, Chaplain
NC Honors Chorus
- alto, was awarded a position with this choir for two years.
NC Sr. All State Band - percussionist
Honors Band at USC - principal percussionist
Wingate University - Church Music Major - organ and voice
Wingate University Concert Choir - accompanist, alto
Wingate University - Trustee Scholar

I began working as a church musician when I was 15 years old, in 1979.
A Younger Me at the Organ Keyboard
Here are my church music pursuits:
Wilson Grove Baptist - pianist - 5 years - Charlotte, NC
Sunset Road Baptist - pianist - 1 year - Charlotte, NC
Mulberry Baptist - organist - 7 years - Charlotte, NC
Stallings United Methodist - organist/pianist - 6 months - Stallings, NC
Mount Harmony Baptist - organist/pianist - 6 months - Indian Trail, NC
Hickory Grove Baptist - organist - 1 year - Charlotte, NC
Mallard Creek Presbyterian - organist/pianist - 5 years - Charlotte, NC
Memorial United Methodist - organist/pianist - 4 years - Charlotte, NC
There were a couple sabbaticals during those years, but for the most part, I've consistently been a church music for almost 30 years.

Since I was a church musician, I was often hired as a wedding musician. I have performed for over 200 weddings, playing piano and organ, and occasionally singing as well. It is always such a joy to perform beautiful music for someone's special day.
Me - Wedding Pianist in the 80's

I have also been called on to perform for funerals. I remember my first funeral performance - so heartbreaking and emotional. But, I soon learned that the music at a funeral is very special to the ones who attend the service. Now, I really enjoy playing for funerals, sending off those who have passed away with a musical fanfare, and helping to ease the spirits of those left behind. Sometimes, I have felt the presence of the one who has passed away, looking over my shoulder as I perform. It's quite an experience.

I began teaching private piano lessons at Cannon School in Concord in the year 2000. When I first started teaching, I had about 10 students. By the end of 2003, I was teaching 60 students a week, which became an unsurmountable task. Also, I was driving over an hour each way, so I decided to cut ties with Cannon School, and pursued teaching on my own in my area.

Currently, I am teaching 12 students, which is a much more manageable number, and they are not far from my home. I really care about each of my students, and we have a good relationship. I'm so glad I decided to become a piano teacher. It's the most fulfilling job I've ever had.

I'm still a church musician, as the organist at Memorial UMC in Charlotte. The choir is so loving and supportive. Our choir director, Todd Henry, is doing a superb job. Whenever he takes a vacation day, I become the "organist/choirmaster" for the day, and it allows me to try new things. I'm pleased with my experience at the organ and piano, and now I am able to learn more about directing. Life is good.
My Organ Bench at Church